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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 10.08.21

October 8, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Roman Reigns Paul Heyman WWE Smackdown
6.7
The 411 Rating
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 10.08.21  

Hey everyone, it’s Friday so here’s another offering for Smackdown. Tonight the King of the Ring and Queen’s Crown tournaments will begin, Sami Zayn takes on Rey Mysterio (Dominik heel turn incoming) and Liv Morgan taking on Carmella. There will also be that most vaunted of time killers, a contract signing. In this case it’ll be three women signing when Becky Lynch signs to defend her title against Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair at Crown Jewel. Becky will be heading to RAW after Crown Jewel, as will Belair, so either Banks takes the belt or we get an exchange where the Smackdown and RAW women’s champions trade belts. This is the first post Draft show, but the full roster changes wont go into effect until after Crown Jewel. I’m sure we’ll get more advancement between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar ahead of their clash, Naomi will probably get ignored by Sonya Deville, Happy Corbin exists, and we might get Drew McIntyre showing up in some capacity. Alright, that’s enough preview from me so let’s get to the action.

We open with Biacna Belair walking into the ring for our contract signing. We’re in San Jose, California for this event. Becky Lynch is sitting at her own table on the entrance ramp and Sasha Banks is standing on the announcers table. OK, those are choices. Adam Pearce reminds us that we’re at a contract signing for a Crown Jewel match. Sonya Deville then does perfunctory introductions for all three women and we get a recap of last week when Banks pinned Belair after a bit of Becky interference. As Banks is introduced we get a recap of Becky attacking Belair on RAW, then Banks showing up and taking out both Belair and Becky. Becky talks, she wanted to sit over here to get a good look at everyone and points out Belair’s losing streak and compares Banks to a disco ball. Banks asks if Becky missed her, because all the people did. Belair cuts her off and says the only necessary conversation right now is signing the contract, because all Banks does it cheap shot people after layoffs and calls out Becky for only being lucky at Summerslam. Every big moment this year had Belair’s name on it, and invites both of them to get in the ring now. Neither of them seem inclined to oblige her, so Belair lightly tosses a chair over the top rope. Becky flips her table and walks up, but here’s Banks from behind to take out Belair. We get a bit of a brawl between all three women, culminating with Belair going for a double stack Kiss of Death, Banks slipping free but winding up on the table in the ring then Belair hits the Kiss of Death driving Becky on top of Banks and both through the table. A nice little visual win for Belair after losing her last couple of matches.

Rey talks with Dominik at gorilla when Kayla walks up. She asks what winning King of the Ring means, and he says winning this is the next best thing to being Universal champion. It would make Rey sick if Sami Zayn became king, and he’ll make sure that doesn’t happen. Dominik does not accompany Rey to ringside. Rey gets to the ring, his match with Zayn will be up after this break.

Dominik watches at gorilla as we come back. Sami Zayn shows up, and says he think Dominik made the right call and feels Dominik should be his own man and feels he’s even better than Rey. That leads to Zayn heading to the ring.

Match #1 – King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Rey Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn

Rey avoids a Helluva kick and rolls up Zayn for 2. Top rope hurricanrana from Rey, then Zayn catches him in a powerbomb on the follow up. They run the ropes with Rey tossing Zayn into the ropes but Zayn avoids a 619 by heading to the floor, which just lets Rey hit a dive into a hurricanrana on the floor. Back in the ring Rey hits a top rope splash for a near fall. Rey starts working a 10 punch in the corner, and prompts an “Eddie” chant with some taunting. Zayn cuts Rey off and tosses him into the ring post. Rey rolls to the outside, here comes Dominik as we head to break.

We come back to Rey starting his comeback but running into an exploder supelx into the corner. Zayn sets for the Helluva kick, but Rey catches him with a hurricanrana into a near fall. Code Red from Rey also only gets a 2 count. Zayn heads up top but Rey follows him up there gets shoved to the apron. Zayn eats a few rights, Rey climbs back up and hits a top rope hurricanrana for a 2 count. Rey off the second rope but eats the mat as Zayn avoids him then tries a Blue Thunder Bomb but Rey counters with a hurricanrana into the ropes. Zayn avoids the 619 and this time hits the Blue Thunder Bomb but only gets a 2 count. Zayn removes the turnbuckle pad in one corner, Dominik picks it up and goes to put it back in place. That allows Rey to hit a seated senton but then he starts arguing with Dominik, letting Zayn shove him into Dominik then roll up Rey with a school boy to get the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Sami Zayn won

Rating: 2.5 stars

Those two work really well together, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The continued slow break up of Rey and Dominik is a bit annoying, they’re taking half an eternity to get to the obvious end point.

In the back Seth Rollins is wearing a pair of old Shaq-nosis shoes turned into a suit next to Kayla and will try to defend his actions from last week when he broke into Edge’s home.

We get a reminder that Hit Row is coming to Smackdown. After that we get a video recap of the Edge and Rollins feud to date, focusing on last week when Seth pulled the tamest home invasion WWE has done maybe ever. They’re trying way too hard on this package to make this creepy with the video effects. That cuts to Rollins with Kayla. She asks if he thinks he crossed the line last week. Rollins says everyone might think so, but if we review the facts we’ll feel different. He’s been hounded and demonized for doing things that Edge has done, and has challenged Edge week after week without Edge responding. So he told Edge he was going to his house, and he did so. In summation he doesn’t think he crossed a line, and still hasn’t got an answer to his challenge. He doesn’t even know why he’s talking to Kayla about this, he’s going to find someone with actual power around here.

To the ring, and here’s Zelina Vega for a match. She’ll take on Toni Storm after this break in the quarterfinals for the Queen’s Crown tournament.

We come back and here comes Toni Storm.

Match #2 – Queen’s Crown Quarterfinals: Zelina Vega vs. Toni Storm

Toni catches a kick, then snap mares Vega down and hits a hip attack. That pisses Vega off, who hits a Thesz press then a roundhouse kick for a near fall. Vega starts working a Dragon sleeper, but Toni fights free and lays in rights. Atomic drop from Toni then a running hip attack in the corner. Toni up top, but Vega jostles the ropes then hits a pump kick. Toni avoids an attack, they fight for balance over a backslide then Vega jumps up and hits a Code Red to pin and win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Zelina Vega won

Rating: 1.5 stars

Too short to be anything, and the ending was a bit awkward. I’m a little surprised at this result, but probably shouldn’t be.

A video package for Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar follows highlighting their interaction last week and Lesnar thanking Heyman for making him a free agent. That transitions to Roman’s music and here comes the full Bloodline. They slowly walk to the ring, and after this break Roman will make a statement aimed at Brock Lesnar.

Roman has a mic as we come back to the action, and he poses dramatically before demanding San Jose acknowledge him. While Roman still mostly gets boos the cheers are growing. Roman reminds us he ordered Heyman to make sure the Usos stayed on Smackdown with him, and that’s what Heyman did so he demands San Jose acknowledge Heyman. Louder boos for Heyman. Roman puts his arm around Heyman’s shoulders and says he loves him. Heyman loves him too. Roman speaks for the Usos and expresses their love, Jey seems to disagree, and he says Heyman is like family, the wise man to the Bloodline. And now Roman wants him to be wise, to tell the truth. A “suplex city” chant breaks out and Roman tells them suplex city doesn’t exist, this is the Island of Relevancy, then again demands the truth from Heyman. He wants Heyman to admit that he’s responsible for Lesnar being a free agent. Heyman takes the mic and the Usos start circling him. He says he’s in a terrible situation, he knows no matter what he says it’ll sound like a spin. Heyman reiterates his history with the family, Roman cuts him off with a hand and just looks at him. He says Roman saved him, because he knew he could help and he’s been accused of many things while being guilty of even more, but he’s never been accused of being stupid. Pulling the trigger now on a scheme to dethrone the Tribal Chief would be stupid. The point would be to keep close to him until Crown Jewel where he could turn then and only then, that would be the smart thing. You know Lesnar is lying because no one with half a brain would tell Roman they were moving against him. Lesnar can’t stand the fact that the conqueror will be conquered at Crown Jewel, Roman cuts him off again by asking for the mic. Heyman hands it too him. Roman says not to tell him, to look into the camera and tell Brock Lesnar this, and promises to protect Heyman from fallout because he can. Heyman looks into the camera as a “we want Lesnar” chant breaks out. He says Lesnar out smarted him on this one, Frankenstein taught the doctor a lesson. Lesnar knows what’s happening at Crown Jewel, he told Lesnar years ago that he’d defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania and now he’s telling Lesnar that Lesnar’s match is Roman Reigns. Roman Reigns will walk into Crown Jewel as Tribal Chief, fight like the Tribal Beast, and the one thing Lesnar will learn at Crown Jewel is that Roman will still be the Universal Champion. And that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler Brock Lesnar and you can believe that. Roman seems satisfied and takes his title back from Heyman to pose. OK, that was great stuff from both Roman and Heyman who remain maybe the most intriguing duo in wrestling.

Pearce and Sonya are in the back and here comes Rollins. Rollins wants to know if Edge is here or not, and Pearce says he was supposed to be here until Rollins broke into his house. At the end of the night Rollins will go to the ring and challenge Edge again, and if he doesn’t get an answer the show will go badly. He gives them a stolen photo from Edge’s house to return if they see Edge before he does.

To the ring, and here comes Carmella, she’ll take on Liv Morgan in the other Queen’s Crown quarterfinal after this break.

Liv Morgan enters the ring as we come back. Before the match Carmella gets that mask put back on to protect her face.

Match #3 – Queen’s Crown Quarterfinal: Carmella vs. Liv Morgan

Quick double leg from Liv, then a jackknife cover for a 2 count but Carmella switches that into a Code of Silence but Liv grabs at the mask to break the hold. Enziguri from Liv, then the Codebreaker for a 2 count as Carmella gets a foot on the ropes to save herself. Carmella with some strikes to try and take over. Carmella avoids an Oblivion and hits a super kick to pin and win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Carmella won

Rating: 1.5 stars

Well that happened. These two have decent chemistry but had no time to do anything.

Kayla is in the back and welcomes Mace to an interview. Mace is asked about being a singles star now, and he doesn’t plan to compete because there’s no competition for him. He’s coming to Smackdown to annihilate. Sure buddy.

To the ring, here’s Happy Corbin. Can I get Mace back? Madcap Moss is here as well, and up next we’ll get Happy Talk with the Street Profits as guests as soon as this break ends.

The Happy Talk set is up in the ring as we come back. Corbin calls his an award winning talk show and welcomes us to the show. He says Moss makes him happy, and Moss tells a joke. “What instrument do you find in a bathroom? A Tuba toothpaste.” That joke is bad enough to bring out Kevin Owens. Moss heads out to meet Owens, Owens abuses him then gets into the ring and lays into Corbin but the numbers game catches up to him rather quickly. They launch Owens into the corner, then Moss hits a forward falling neckbreaker to lay out Owens. That was unbelievably pointless.

In the back Naomi walks to Pearce and Deville, she wants to know why she wasn’t part of the tournament. Deville says she didn’t deserve it, and Naomi asks to be traded to RAW, Deville says no but she’s got a match between the Naomi and Deville next week.

To the ring and here’s Finn Balor for the other King of the Ring quarterfinal match. He’ll take on Cesaro after this break.

Cesaro makes his entrance as we come back to live action. Under different circumstances I’d love to see Cesaro and Balor tear the house down in 10-15 minutes or so, but given how most of the matches have been laid out tonight I’m not exactly optimistic.

Match #4 – King of the Ring Quarterfinal: Finn Balor vs. Cesaro

They shake hands to start, then lock up. Cesaro starts after the arm, Balor can’t quite escape on the first attempt but gets a side headlock. Balor holds the side headlock through a few escape attempts, before Cesaro does use a head scissors to escape. They hit the ropes and Cesaro drills Balor with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Cesaro starts zeroing in on the back of Balor and hits a running leg drop. Body blows from Cesaro, and European uppercuts as well. Balor up and over out of the corner then hits a double leg and a double stomp to the chest. Cesaro moves after Balor, but gets back body dropped to the floor then Balor sets for a dive but runs into a Swiss Death in the ring for a near fall. Balor heads out of the ring as we head to break.

They’re trading chops as we come back, then Balor avoids a tilt a whirl backbreaker and hits an Eye of the Hurricane for a 2 count. Stomps from Balor, then Cesaro counters a charge and starts his uppercut train and gets three of them before Balor lands a Sling Blade and both men are down. Balor avoids a corner rush and lands a kick, he heads up top for a Coup de Grace but Cesaro intercepts him on the top rope with an uppercut. Cesaro lands a headbutt and climbs up with Balor, he wants a superplex, Balor tries to fight back and Cesaro basically dead lifts him up and into the superplex. That only gets 2, and Cesaro moves into the Crossface, Balor counters into a roll up for 2 and they reset. Cesaro sets for the swing, Balor counters into a Victory Roll for 2, then avoids a charging Cesaro and Cesaro posts himself. Balor then dives onto Cesaro out of the ring, heads back in and hits the shotgun drop kick. Balor up top for the Coup de Grace, he hits it and pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Finn Balor won

Rating: 3 stars

No surprise at all that these two can work well together, shame they’re not doing anything with Cesaro though.

Becky Lynch yells at Pearce and Deville, she complains that she’s changed the game and has done everything that management has asked of her. Just let the record show she gave the people the biggest match possible. She eventually signs the contract and storms out.

To the ring, here’s Seth Rollins, and he’ll be in the ring to talk to close the show.

We come back and get a little preview of next week’s Smackdown. Rollins stares at the hard camera and I have to resist the urge to adjust my television given his outfit. Rollins wants Edge to come out and answer his challenge. He doesn’t want to keep the people waiting, and doesn’t even need a fight tonight and offers Edge to name the time, place, and stipulation. He’s willing to have the match in Edge’s living room if he wants. Still nothing from Edge, and with 7 or so minutes left it’ll be a bit before he shows. Rollins asks what happened to the Rated R Superstar, the Ultimate Opportunist? Oh that’s right, Rollins ended that guy with one Stomp in Madison Square Garden. If Edge wont show up tonight then he’s going to take that as an admission that Rollins is not Edge-lite and that Rollins is better than Edge in every way. Rollins is disappointed just like the fans, and tells Edge that Edge is letting all of the fans down and disappointing his family. It’s embarrassing but it’s true, how can Edge’s little girls go through the day knowing their dad is no longer an inspiration but just a coward. We see a car pull up in the back, and it’s Edge. Edge storms to the ring as Rollins takes off his jacket. Rollins runs for a chair, he gets it but Edge just Spears him. Edge starts beating the crap out of Rollins around the ringside area. They head back into the ring, this time Edge gets a chair leg and looks for the Glasgow Grin but Rollins is able to elbow his way free and head up the entrance ramp. Edge gets a mic and tells Rollins they’ll settle this in Hell in a Cell. I guess the Saudi’s wanted one of those. Rollins looks like he’s seen a ghost as a brief “Yes” chant breaks out. This might be the first time in years we’ve got a partially deserving Hell in a Cell match. Edge wields a chair and stands tall as Rollins tries to process this as the show ends.

6.7
The final score: review Average
The 411
This was an odd show, the layout in particular seemed all over the place. Opening with a contract signing turned brawl was alright, but you'd think an episode devoted to kicking off two tournaments would devote time to the actual wrestling. We could easily have done without the Happy Corbin stuff and given more time to any of the tournament matches, I mean Roman's entrance was longer than both Liv vs. Carmella and Vega vs. Storm combined if we're talking bell to bell action. As for the King of the Ring stuff, they chose talented workers and gave them a bit of time but even that felt rushed and neither match actually built a story. Rey and Zayn's match was overshadowed by the Rey and Dominik issues, while Cesaro and Balor were treated like afterthoughts. The best things on this show were the Roman and Heyman promo and the closing bit once Edge showed up. While this was an improvement over last weeks Draft show it was still a bit more miss than hit.
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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree